Bombarded by disinformation campaigns, many British Jews are being misled into seeing Corbyn as a threat rather than as the best hope of inoculating Britain against the resurgence of right-wing anti-Semitism menace
by Jonathan Cook
End-of-year polls are always popular as a way to gauge significant social and political trends over the past year and predict where things are heading in the next. But a recent poll of European Jews – the largest such survey in the world – is being used to paint a deeply misleading picture of British society and an apparent problem of a new, left-wing form of anti-semitism.
Part 4 - The Hungary anomaly
Hungary is a country in which Jews and other minorities undoubtedly face a very pressing threat to their safety. Its ultra-nationalist Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, used the general election last April to whip up a frenzy of anti-Jewish sentiment.
He placed the Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire George Soros at the centre of his anti-immigration campaign, suggesting that the philanthropist was secretly pulling the strings of the opposition party to flood the country with “foreigners”. In the run-up to the election, his government erected giant posters and billboards all over the country showing a chuckling George Soros next to the words: “Don’t let Soros have the last laugh.”
Raiding the larder of virtually every historic anti-Semitic trope, Orban declared in an election speech: “We are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open, but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world.”
All of this should be seen in the context of Orban’s recent praise for Miklos Horthy, a former Hungarian leader who was an ally of Hitler’s. Orban has called him an “exceptional statesman”. So did Hungarian Jews express to EU pollsters heightened fears for their community’s safety? Strangely, they did not. In fact, the percentage who regarded anti-semitism as a problem in Hungary was only slightly above the EU average and far below the concerns expressed by French Jews.
Not only that, but the proportion of Hungarian Jews fearful of anti-semitism has actually dropped over the past six years. Some 77 per cent see anti-semitism as a problem today, compared to 89 per cent in 2012, when the poll was last conducted.
So, the survey’s results are more than a little confounding. On the one hand, at least according to the British media and the EU, British Jews are in a heightened state of fear about the UK Labour party, where the evidence suggests an already marginal problem of anti-semitism is actually in decline.
And on the other, Hungarian Jews’ fears of anti-semitism are waning, even though the evidence suggests anti-semitism is on the rise and government-sanctioned there.